The Severn Valley Railway is a heritage line re-opened in 1965 by railway enthusiasts. My husband is one of those and we bought shares to help with the development of the railway. The scheme does not pay dividends but we receive a free annual travel pass which gives us “freedom of the line”.
The line runs through beautiful riverside scenery from Kidderminster in Worcestershire to Bridgnorth, an historic market town, in Shropshire. The trains are pulled by steam or heritage diesel locomotives. The terminus at Kidderminster is next to a mainline station, so this makes it easier to bring in guest locomotives for the Spring and Autumn Galas. There are also a number of special events such as “Step Back into the 1940’s”, Halloween and Christmas. You can also book the observation car for afternoon tea, Sunday lunches or birthday parties. At the Engine House at Highley there are special events, interactive railway exhibits, a children’s playground and much more. For adults there is “All Aboard the Gin (or Rum) Train!”. For everyone there are refreshments on the train and in the station cafes. For the real ale enthusiast (yes, himself is too!) there are pubs such as the one at Bridgnorth – the Railwayman’s Arms. There are souvenir shops and second hand memorabilia carriages on station platforms. For the intrepid traveller you can even book a footplate experience – a la Michael Portillo!
In pre-Covid times we travelled on the SVR at regular intervals but the last couple of years have been difficult due to restrictions. However, on 23rd October we enjoyed a lovely relaxing journey and, apart from wearing a face mask, it almost felt like normal. Though, there was nothing normal about the stations – they were decked out ready for the Halloween specials. This Spooktacular event featured skeletons, witches and every kind of scary monster. You can travel down the line in the day time to enjoy the beautiful landscape clothed in Autumn colours and travel back at dusk to experience all the spooky decorations, sounds and lights to scare you to death!
There are various types of tickets to buy, which you can either get on the day or for popular events it is better to book ahead online. I can definitely recommend a day out on the Severn Valley Railway – but then I am biased!